Woke

RJM

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Checking up on the word woke, because of the offence its use ‘as a pejorative’ seems to cause, it has evidently become a codeword in the new American tribal society that defines a person’s ideology.

It has evolved a long way from its meaning in the old Leadbelly song "Scottsboro Boys", which tells the story of nine black teenagers accused of raping two white women. He says: "I advise everybody, be a little careful when they go along through there – best stay woke, keep their eyes open."

It has become a word associated with the MAGA conservative wing in the USA, used as an insult towards liberals.

An outsider like me walks into a minefield; these sorts of words have acquired a particular meaning in America, that is not properly understood by people who live elsewhere, and in less polarized societies.

For myself only, I have come around to using the word woke in the sense that British journalist Steven Poole says is used to mock "over-righteous liberalism". To me "woke – like its cousin cancelled – bespeaks political correctness gone awry"*

Without wishing to cause offence to anyone, I am unapologetic about what I think the woke movement has in reality become in the first quarter of the 21st century.

But it is just my own opinion. It is obviously open to discussion. I never deliberately set out to offend anyone.

Extracts below from the wiki article:
Woke
(/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is an English adjective meaning "alert to racial prejudice and discrimination" that originated in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans.

The phrase stay woke had emerged in AAVE by the 1930s, in some contexts referring to an awareness of the social and political issues affecting African Americans. The phrase was uttered in a recording by Lead Belly and later by Erykah Badu. Following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, the phrase was popularised by Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists seeking to raise awareness about police shootings of African Americans. After seeing use on Black Twitter, the term woke became an Internet meme and was increasingly used by white people, often to signal their support for BLM, which some commentators have criticised as cultural appropriation. Mainly associated with the millennial generation, the term spread internationally and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017.

The terms woke capitalism and woke-washing have arisen to describe companies who signal support for progressive causes as a substitute for genuine reform. By 2020, parts of the political center and right wing in several Western countries were using the term woke, often in an ironic way, as an insult for various progressive or leftist movements and ideologies perceived as overzealous, performative, or insincere. In turn, some commentators came to consider it an offensive term with negative associations to those who promote political ideas involving identity and race. By 2021, woke had become used almost exclusively as a pejorative, with most prominent usages of the word taking place in a disparaging context.

Broadening usage

While there is no single agreed-upon definition of woke, it came to be largely associated with ideas that involve identity and race and which are promoted by progressives, such as the notion of white privilege or slavery reparations for African Americans. Vox's Aja Romano writes that woke evolved into a "single-word summation of leftist political ideology, centered on social justice politics and critical race theory".

… The term increasingly came to be identified with members of the millennial generation. In May 2016, MTV News identified woke as being among ten words teenagers "should know in 2016". The American Dialect Society voted woke the slang word of the year in 2017. In the same year, the term was included as an entry in Oxford English Dictionary.

… Journalist Amanda Hess says social media accelerated the word's cultural appropriation, writing, "The conundrum is built in. When white people aspire to get points for consciousness, they walk right into the cross hairs between allyship and appropriation." Hess calls woke "a back-pat from the left, a way of affirming the sensitive".

… While the term woke initially pertained to issues of racial prejudice and discrimination impacting African Americans, it was appropriated by other activist groups with different causes. Abas Mirzaei, a senior lecturer in branding at Macquarie University says that the term "has been cynically applied to everything from soft drink to razors".

…Among American conservatives, woke has come to be used primarily as an insult. In this pejorative sense, woke means "following an intolerant and moralising ideology.” British journalist Steven Poole comments that the term is used to mock "over-righteous liberalism". Romano says that on the American right, "'woke' – like its cousin 'canceled' – bespeaks 'political correctness' gone awry"*

Opponents of progressive social movements often use the term mockingly or sarcastically, implying that "wokeness" is an insincere form of performative activism. Such critics often believe that movements such as Black Lives Matter exaggerate the extent of social problems. Linguist and social critic John McWhorter argues that the history of woke is similar to that of politically correct, another term once used self-descriptively by the left which was appropriated by the right as an insult, in a process similar to the euphemism treadmill.

Read full article: Wiki Woke

(I apologise again for offence caused by my thin understanding of the American sense of the word)
 
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Thomas

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OK, I'll dive in.

This is how I read it.

'Woke' has become a pejorative term used by the 'right' in an increasingly vociferous and dangerous campaign against the 'left'.

In this ideological taking-of-sides, both right and left have sought to 'cancel' the voice of the other. In all fairness I think the liberals started it, and 'woke' is the counter.

What's most troublesome now is not the terms, but the lack of meaningful dialogue.

I withdrew from Twitter when someone pointed out that two parties 'discussing' an element of politics (in this the UK's withdrawal from Europe) had passed beyond ideas, and were simply winding each other up. Facts, logical argument, etc., were no longer the point. The goal was to see how much one could infuriate the other.

I found it both funny and tragic that "… Among American conservatives ... woke means 'following an intolerant and moralising ideology.' "
Of course, right wing ideology is neither 'intolerant' nor 'moralising'!

An outsider like me walks into a minefield; these sorts of words have acquired a particular meaning in America, that is not properly understood by people who live elsewhere, and in less polarized societies.
Here in the UK we have our own version. Woke is gaining traction, but with the mainstream media in the hands of a few right-wing power brokers, ideas that in Europe are considered reasonably 'liberal' or 'socialist' are here immediately branded 'the loony left' and shot down.
 

RJM

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A man can wake up deciding to be a woman -- or whatever he wishes a woman to be today, and set new records in women's sport -- and JK Rowling is intimidated and victimized for daring to question the above woke narrative and cancelled from the Harry Potter world she created? Just saying

I believe the woke left has a big responsibility for the rise of the alt-right. Imo they deserve each other, but its always reasonable people concerned with everyday living, getting children to school etc, who are caught up and suffer from the effects of the looney fringe idealogues, imo
 
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RJM

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There are 'pregnant people' and 200 different gender classifications, schoolgirls are not allowed to wear skirts and children are not allowed to say mummy and daddy. That is how I and many others perceive the woke movement -- which will no doubt cause outrage and rending of garments ...
 

Thomas

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A man can wake up deciding to be a woman ...
It seems to me there are genuine discussions to be had, and as I understand it, it's by no means clear-cut in sport but, as you say, suggesting so garners a backlash from the left.

I believe the woke left has a big responsibility for the rise of the alt-right. Imo they deserve each other, but its always reasonable people concerned with everyday living, getting children to school etc, who are caught up and suffer from the effects of the looney fringe idealogues, imo
Yep.
 

seattlegal

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A man can wake up deciding to be a woman -- or whatever he wishes a woman to be today, and set new records in women's sport -- and JK Rowling is intimidated and victimized for daring to question the above woke narrative and cancelled from the Harry Potter world she created? Just saying
Have you heard of Robert Galbraith? ;)

I believe the woke left has a big responsibility for the rise of the alt-right. Imo they deserve each other, but its always reasonable people concerned with everyday living, getting children to school etc, who are caught up and suffer from the effects of the looney fringe idealogues, imo
White supremacists have been around for a long time. The internet has allowed them to widely spread their propaganda. That said, you don't have to be white to be a racist. The claim that non-whites are immune from racism is laughable. Hate doesn't overcome hatred. It only propagates more hatred. Hate is overcome by non-hate. {Italisized part is from Dhammapada 1:5, as spoken by Buddha. The word Buddha means awakened, or "woke."}
 
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seattlegal

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Regarding trans athletes: the sports community will eventually figure it out. Sportsmanship is too engrained in the sports community for it to be so easily uprooted. It might take a little time is all.
 
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RJM

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Regarding trans athletes: the sports community will eventually figure it out. Sportsmanship is too engrained in the sports community for it to be so easily uprooted. It might take a little time is all.
I agree. It'll sort itself out. The whole thing will sort itself out. Life goes on ...
Have you heard of Robert Gilbreath
Now that you remind me:

Troubled Blood
By Robert Galbraith
Sphere
Rs 899 (Rs 412 on Kindle)


"This is a book that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. When JK Rowling – yes, Robert Galbraith is actually the pseudonym of the creator of THE Harry Potter – released Troubled Blood, the latest book in her series of thrillers featuring ex-Army officer Cormoran Strike, many critics took it to the cleaners because (mild spoiler alert) one of the villains of the book was a person who dressed as a woman and kidnapped, assaulted and murdered other women. Given Rowling’s controversial statements over the Transgender community, this choice of villain was bound to kick up a storm. And it has – a storm that has overshadowed the book to a large extent ... "

https://indianexpress.com/article/b...t-galbraith-is-surprisingly-ordinary-6702522/
White supremacists have been around for a long time. The internet has allowed them to widely spread their propaganda. That said, you don't have to be white to be a racist. The claim that non-whites are immune from racism is laughable
Yep
Hate doesn't overcome hatred. It only propagates more hatred. Hate is overcome by non-hate.
A reminder
Hate is overcome by non-hate. {Italisized part is from Dhammapada 1:5, as spoken by Buddha. The word Buddha means awakened, or "woke."}
Bingo, lol
I love that :)
 
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wil

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Regarding trans athletes: the sports community will eventually figure it out. Sportsmanship is too engrained in the sports community for it to be so easily uprooted. It might take a little time is all.
Most sports have...the armchair quarterbacks have not.

The top transwomen typically do NOT perform as well against women as they did previously among men. The hormone therapy reduces muscle mass and makes them less competive than they were.
 

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A man can wake up deciding to be a woman -- or whatever he wishes a woman to be today, and set new records in women's sport -- and JK Rowling is intimidated and victimized for daring to question the above woke narrative and cancelled from the Harry Potter world she created? Just saying

RJM, I am so disappointed in you.

No man wakes up deciding to be a woman. Trans women have existed for a long time. You're right, they aren't cisgender women, but they also aren't cisgender men, either.

You're essentially denying that gender exists when you say this, which I hope is mostly out of ignorance and you aren't just intentionally redefining what a woman is to marginalize trans people.

I get that the vast majority of the human population throughout history have been cisgender, so as transgender people gain more recognition in society it becomes easy to stick our feet in the mud and redefine what a "woman" or a "man" is specifically to exclude them. Just because gender and sex are closely linked in the majority of the population doesn't mean that everyone's gender matches up with their... assigned sex?

(And "sex" itself has a number of issues. Are we going by anatomical sex or chromosomal sex? Anatomical sex is changed through Sexual-Reassignment Surgery, so I guess not that? So, with chromosomal sex, what about the intersex people who are born with the opposite anatomical sex as their chromosomes due to being intersex? They might never even know they have a chromosomal disorder, and just think their chromosomal sex is accurately reflected by their anatomy.)

Unfortunately, the only reason why calling trans women "women" is so controversial is because... people want to demean and dehumanize trans people by intentionally misgendering them. That's all there is to it. When they weren't in the limelight, people were a lot more respectful of their gender (which is something you're born with, not something you can decide.)

It's not about "woke narratives." It's about human decency. JK Rowling isn't questioning a narrative; she's rationalizing bigotry against trans people. And you're buying into it, why?

As for sports, that's something that's still being talked about by both the left and the right, and it is an open discussion. However, whatever happens in sports shouldn't affect the respect that trans people are given by society as a whole, a respect that you don't afford them.
 
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Ella S.

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With the above said, I don't support Neoliberalism or Marxism, but people lump me into that category, anyway, just for calling them out on abusing their over-simplistic and ignorant views on sex and gender.

I think the "woke" crowd is genuinely dangerously authoritarian, but here's the thing: Both the alt-right and the "woke" authoritarians end up supporting the same policies that give corporations more power.

The division between the two is just a palette swap. Do you want a Confederate flag or a rainbow one? That's all it really boils down to. And I think it's fair to criticize that.
 

RJM

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JK Rowling isn't questioning a narrative; she's rationalizing bigotry against trans people. And you're buying into it, why?
I would say it is you who are buying into it. Why the need to classify anyone who disagrees or wants to talk as a bigot? Of course I know trans people have always existed. However:

 
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